Midsummer

Half of June lost down lanes of puddles, damp swallows ill tempering iron skies low over fields of bullocks mooing with the cold. In the verges hares nesting under hawthorn umbrellas, their tall ears bright wet. Each day reduced by rain falling, falling and bringing the light down with it, folding the village in grey […]

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Swimming for England (complete)

“And time passes, it is only life itself that never changes – when we are all gone the clouds, the gone the clouds, the stars, the cities will still bustle and hum with no thoughts at all for who lived for a bit and then disappeared.” John Hickman, 1960 Chapters The Bosphorus Page 3 Alcatraz […]

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Working party iii

A lane pulling away between fields laid low with winter wear. The village men and women out in January weather, their boots clocking hours against the road, raking hay and plastic out of the verge their spades cutting places for thorn and hazel.   The wind coming in and the lines of rain on the wind, everyone bends to digging […]

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Easter iv

After communion, the little congregation scattered to roasting tins and claret we climb the church tower, one father and his two sons, stone steps screwing us heavenwards, the tower stinking of winter, its four bells hanging in a bat chamber like green bombs, their detonators fouled with bad years. Upwards! The screw tightens us up […]

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She does not leave my side

I Across the narrow afternoon she helps me picking off the winter ground options of hawthorn, common dogwood, black thorn, crab apple and field maple. “Here’s hawthorn”, she dangles the whip at its root. “Don’t touch the thorns” she warns, her fingers soft as flowers. “Now crab apple” I order, taking off my jacket, “Crab […]

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Village Life – August

On Sunday morning a small working party gathers at the east end of the village, in their possession a key for the store which forms part of the Manor’s brick stable block, which is slowly collapsing – each year that passes the roof line on the block gets wobblier, and the holes in the slate […]

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Village life – June 2014

A beery fug over hangs the welly throwing competition, which is being run by a group of Young Farmers at one end of the garden. Queuing to have a go, I chat to a Young Farmer about the large wooden catapult (the size of a couple of washing machines) which, he explains, he has made […]

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